Former boxing champion opens gym


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A former heavyweight boxing champion from Grand Rapids is launching a gym in town today.

Buster Mathis Jr. said last week that he’s opening Bokssport in Grand Rapids, within Family Fitness of Alpine, at 1040 4 Mile Rd. NW.

Mathis developed a boxing program designed to be a challenging workout for boxers of all levels.

The gym will offer group and personal training.

Mathis will teach classes at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“I want to use all that I have learned over a lifetime of boxing to provide a high-quality fitness experience,” Mathis said.

Mathis Jr.

Mathis grew up in Grand Rapids and aspired to have a boxing career similar to his father, Buster Mathis Sr., a heavyweight boxer who fought Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.

Mathis Jr. did reach similar levels as his father, taking on fights against Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe.

Mathis Jr. won the USBA heavyweight title bout against Tyrell Biggs in 1994. In 1995, Mathis Jr. loss to Tyson in three rounds.

He retired from boxing in 1996 at 26 years old with a 21-2 record. 

Mathis Sr. also operated a gym in town, Pride Gym, which was on South Division Avenue.  

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